[PD] Help Docs: element vs. item

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at at.or.at
Thu Aug 13 00:38:54 CEST 2009

On Aug 12, 2009, at 4:07 PM, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:

> On Tue, 11 Aug 2009, Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
>> The idea of that section of the PdDefintions wiki is to collect all  
>> bits of text that contribute to the definition of what  is a symbol/ 
>> float/atom/etc. That's why there are many bits. If there is  
>> anything missing please add it.
> In the Humanities, you can define abstract words the postmodern way,  
> collecting little bits and talking about a word until it acquires a  
> meaning. In a computer programme, it doesn't matter what the word  
> means to the users or even whether the users think of the thing as  
> being abstract: symbols and floats are very concrete things that  
> have very precise definitions that don't leave a lot of room for  
> interpretational variation.
> So I think we can leave the mosaïc of testimonies aside and just  
> read the source, so that we get back to what Pd is instead of what  
> we think it is.

>> Well, this defintion comes from the "object boxes" section, not  
>> message boxes or messages.  There is no discussion of messages in  
>> the section where that is defined.  But that's a minor detail.
>> http://crca.ucsd.edu/~msp/Pd_documentation/x2.htm#s1.2
> Ah, well, when I read that, it never crossed my mind that I had to  
> look up the bibliographical reference to actually understand what's  
> written there. That's what I mean by "out of context"... the  
> PdDefinition page is unusually dependent on its bibliographical  
> references... doesn't stand on its own.

Just to clarify, you guys seem to be missing the point of that page.   
The point was to gather all definitions in Miller's manual and in Pd  
itself.  Then, that's a basis to then come up with clearer definitions  
and clearer implementations.

There does not seem to be one canonical source of definitions, the  
source is also inconsistent in some places. The fact that these  
definitions vary highlights that problem.  If you think you can  
improve on Frank and my attempts at clarifying things, please add a  
wiki page and put your own definitions there.  Also, if you find any  
other relevant definitions, please add it to the main page.





The arc of history bends towards justice.     - Dr. Martin Luther  
King, Jr.

More information about the Pd-list mailing list